T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network

Beetle (Squeaking longhorn) Hexatricha pulverulenta

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Family: Cerambycidae
Genus: Hexatricha
Species: H. pulverulenta
Binomial name: Hexatricha pulverulenta
Synonyms: Lamia pulverulenta
Common names: Squeaking longhorn

Hexatricha pulverulenta is a common, endemic, wood-boring species of longhorn beetle found throughout New Zealand. It has been recorded from a wide range of both native and exotic woods. Its larvae are most common in the dead stems and branches of Nothofagus and Pinus species.

Hexatricha pulverulenta body is a light, orange to brown colour. The body length of is >24 mm and the width is > 7 mm. It has two very distinctive, long, feathery antennae bearing alternating colour bands. 
There are two stripes on the upper surface of the head. 
The prothorax (anterior segment of the thorax) is wider than the head and has one central orange stripe next to the head. The elytra (wing cases) are broader than the prothorax; they are widest at their mid-point, and strongly tapered to the rear. Each elytra bear three longitudinal orange-brown ridges. The whole insect bears scattered groups of pale, whitish yellow setae (bristle-like structures). 
The adults appear during August to April. The females have powerful mandibles that they use bite holes in the bark to make a cavity suitable to lay eggs into. Females are often seen on tree trunks looking for natural cracks in the bark to lay their eggs. Eggs are laid under the bark of dead or dying trees. They are often seen as a male following behind.
The eggs hatch in >19 days, and larvae live under and feed on sapwood wood for perhaps two or three years. They pupate for 30 days, hatching from spring to autumn into adult beetles which live for up to three months. Adults are reluctant fliers. 
When held the Hexatricha pulverulenta stridulates vigorously by moving the prothorax to produce a defensive squeaking sound giving rise to its common name “Squeaking longhorn”. This behaviour, called stridulation, is common among many long-horned beetles around the world.

Hexatricha pulverulenta is not of economic importance as its damage is confined to the sapwood of dead or dying trees. This damage is generally removed in the waste slabs cut off during milling.


Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information